Home | About Us | Contact Us


Koi Forum - Koi-Bito Magazine straight from Japan
Page 1 of 10 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 99

Thread: Chagoi Pigment Behavior

  1. #1
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    11,238

    Chagoi Pigment Behavior

    I started a thread several days ago that seems to have disappeared with the board upgrade, so I'll start again....

    We think of sumi as being its most intense when temperatures are cool, and being least concentrated when temperatures are high. But, when it comes to Chagoi, sumi behaves differently, at least in most. Why is this?

    I have a Chagoi I have been raising from tosai. She is now in her third year. When water temperatures are in the 60sF, she is a golden tan color that stands out, even when 6-feet down and 20 feet away. When water temperatures are over 80F, as is now the case, she is a dark brown with an almost sooty overcast. She blends into the pond bottom when 4 feet down and directly under my nose. She may be a bit more dramatic in her color change than some Chagoi, but I have seen the same darkening with warmth in many others. Does anyone have a scientific explanation? I've searched forums and googled, etc., and find nothing explaining the phenomenon.

  2. #2
    Sansai
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Deluz, CA
    Posts
    298
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    I started a thread several days ago that seems to have disappeared with the board upgrade, so I'll start again....

    We think of sumi as being its most intense when temperatures are cool, and being least concentrated when temperatures are high. But, when it comes to Chagoi, sumi behaves differently, at least in most. Why is this?

    I have a Chagoi I have been raising from tosai. She is now in her third year. When water temperatures are in the 60sF, she is a golden tan color that stands out, even when 6-feet down and 20 feet away. When water temperatures are over 80F, as is now the case, she is a dark brown with an almost sooty overcast. She blends into the pond bottom when 4 feet down and directly under my nose. She may be a bit more dramatic in her color change than some Chagoi, but I have seen the same darkening with warmth in many others. Does anyone have a scientific explanation? I've searched forums and googled, etc., and find nothing explaining the phenomenon.
    I have one metallic Chagoi that does not change color much. But I have two Ochibas that change based on water temps. Their brown pattern changes rather dramatically between my winter temps of 52F and summer's 78F. The base color doesn't change as much as the pattern. We purchased one to add "yellow" to the pond, but once the water warmed it got speckled... then a dark brown. It repeats this every year, so we got two fish for the price of one. Three if you count the ugly speckled phase. Sorry, I don't have an explanation, but I'm listening in hopes I hear one.

  3. #3
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    seattle, wa
    Posts
    6,340
    Thanks for reposting, Mike....interesting observation. My sense is that this phenominon is not so much temperature related as it is a defense mechanism to adjust color so that they are not so visible to predators. I think the sun and heat change the refraction of the water making it easier to see through.

  4. #4
    Oyagoi dizzyfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    1,448
    Or perhaps it has something to do with blocking UV radiation from the sun, as the sun becomes more intense in summer. Or as the water becomes clearer in the winter. Or Dick may be right.

  5. #5
    Sansai redman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    269
    Mike, I have the same situation going on as well. However, my pond is indoors so obviously it's not uv rays in my particular case.

  6. #6
    Sansai redman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    269
    Well I should say not as a result of uv rays.

  7. #7
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Davenport, Oklahoma
    Posts
    6,726
    I'm still curious about this too.
    I have opinions, but they are purely speculative based on observation and comparisons with other species.

    I think it is the result of primitive genes that nature gave them to "play chameleon" for survival, with Chagoi being closer to the Magoi than most varieties. We've had them go through the same extreme color shifts as Mike, some going nearly black during the heat of summer, but the color of their environment seems to have an even greater impact than the water temperature.

    I think most of us have seen Utsuri and Showa patterns crumble when moved from a black pond to a blue show tank, even if shipping stress is minimal. I tend to believe it is a combination of water chemistry (also a seasonal/temperature sensitive variable), light intensity sensitivity (long days vs. short, direct vs. indirect), and the hormone responses to those changes. We know that hormonal triggers drive many changes in the physiology of Koi and that temperature and light play an important role in how they behave.

    Lots of "If this, then that" anecdotal speculation for sure, but it is rooted in observations I've seen and heard from a multitude of very experienced hobbyists.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  8. #8
    Sansai
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Deluz, CA
    Posts
    298
    Colors change on Ochibas are sort of like Autumn leaves.

    I'm still betting on water temperature as a trigger because I've seen mine get dark speckles in the middle of winter during a week-long warm spell, and opposite in summer during a cool period. They change their activity level the same way. We can have several 90F days in January and suddenly all the koi are swimming fast and begging for food when the pond warms up 5 degrees. It is not always the exact temperature but in what direction the temperature is trending. Some of my plants do the same thing, others are triggered by the length of days.

  9. #9
    Oyagoi dizzyfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    1,448
    Quote Originally Posted by Farmer Steve View Post
    I'm still betting on water temperature as a trigger because I've seen mine get dark speckles in the middle of winter during a week-long warm spell, and opposite in summer during a cool period.
    You may well be right.

    http://jeb.biologists.org/content/68/1/89.full.pdf



  10. #10
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    11,238
    Interesting experiment and results. Presuming that Nishikigoi have a similar response to warming as the Crucian Carp tested, I am still left with the question of why we see sumi intensify on gosanke and utsuri when water cools and lighten when it warms, just the opposite effect.

    I do not believe the color change is related to the background, since my pond has a dark green covering of algae on the walls and bottom year-round. Water clarity increases in the cooler months when fasting occurs, but the difference is so slight I find it difficult to think it is a relevant factor.

    Questions: So far Ochiba and Chagoi have been mentioned as changing color in this way. Are there other varieties where it has been observed? ...I have not noticed it in any koi with a white ground, nor in metallics. What have Asagi-keepers observed with their fish? Anyone observe how Magoi pigment behaves in relation to temperature?

Page 1 of 10 123 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Pigment Miscellany
    By MikeM in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-27-2013, 12:09 PM
  2. NEW direction from Jr post in chagoi behavior thread....
    By luke frisbee in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 31
    Last Post: 07-09-2010, 04:34 PM
  3. learned behavior
    By luke frisbee in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-02-2009, 01:01 PM
  4. Carp behavior vs Koi behavior..I don't think so
    By luke frisbee in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-02-2009, 12:23 PM
  5. Pre-Spawning Behavior
    By MikeM in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 05-01-2006, 08:56 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Articles - Sitemap - FAQs and Rules

KB Footer Graphic
Straight from Japan... For the serious hobbyist!
All content and images copyright of: Koi-bito.com